Dave’s Free Play, Monday 4/15/13

Spring training numbers always have to be taken with a grain of salt. Some are totally misleading, others are harbingers of things to come. A couple of examples are Aaron Hicks and Jarrod Parker. Hicks tore it up in the exhibitions for the Twins and was awarded the starting CF job. But a lengthier look at the spring game breakout showed that Hicks compiled a good percentage of those impressive stats against less than big league caliber pitching. Now that the real games have begun, he's completely overmatched. Hicks is 2/43 with 20 K's. I have no clue as to why he's still hitting leadoff for Minnesota, and at this point, I also have no idea why he's not patrolling an outfield in AAA. The flip side of the spring training stat dilemma is Jarrod Parker. The Oakland righty had a bad spring, but this was explained away as no big deal, as he was more focused on improving his breaking balls. But it turns out the bad exhibition game numbers have now turned into even worse real game numbers. ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Sunday 4/14/13

The 7-0 daily free play run ended on Friday night with a sort of strange loser on the Orioles, but it was right back into the win column Saturday as the Rockies rolled past the Padres. Before moving on to the Sunday comp, a quick piece of advice for those of you who do your own analysis. Make sure to check the weather and the wind before diving in on a Total. It sure isn't terribly time consuming and the information can be very useful, not so much in finding winners but certainly in taking you off a game where it can screw up even the best breakdown. I mention this because one of the games I was considering playing Under on Sunday also has a forecast of winds dead out at about 17MPH. If the game stays Under and I miss a winner, so be it. The whole idea here is to avoid losers thanks to conditions that never got factored into the equation. My personal email for those interested in getting what I'm betting myself is cokin@cox.net. Drop me a line and I'll get you all the info and the ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Saturday 4/13/13

It took some unusual occurrences, such as a three-run error on a dropped fly ball, as well as a triple play, but the daily free play streak concluded last night as the Orioles lost to the Yankees. I'll try to get a new run going tonight. Personal plays on the diamond went 3-1, so it looks as though all systems are go already in baseball. There's increasing data to be relied upon as more games are played, and more factual information I have at hand, the better the decision making process. If you'd like info and rates on getting what I'm on myself each day, shoot an email to me at cokin@cox.net. -------------------- 04/13 05:40 PM MLB (913) COLORADO ROCKIES VS (914) SAN DIEGO PADRES Take: (913) COLORADO ROCKIES Okay, I'll get a few negatives out of the way off the top. First, it looks really easy to tab the Rockies here. They're looking like a much improved team, bettors will love that 1.35 Chacin ERA, the Padres are not scaring anyone and Volquez has been awful. So what's not to ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Friday 4/12/13

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the current run on these daily free plays. The easy winner on Oakland last night makes it 7-0 the last seven days, with six road dog winners along with one Total. I'll go with that flow tonight and will side with another road underdog, although the weather might prevent this game from being played. No control over that factor, so let's just hope for the best. As for my personal plays, they're spotless the last two nights and I feel like I've got a nice rhythm working right now. About the only beef in the early going has been a 1-5 ledger on one-run games, and included in that group were three blown saves. None my way so far on that count. So the fact I'm doing okay with no luck on the coin flips is more than encouraging. Get the rates and info on my daily personal plays by emailing me at cokin@cox.net. -------------- A quick opinion on the melee at Petco last night between the Dodgers and Padres. The bad guy here was definitely Carlos Quentin. First ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Thursday 4/11/13

Aced the board with my personal plays on Wednesday, and the free play roll continued with the underdog Rays blanking the Rangers. That's six in a row the right way, with five road dog winners and one Over play along the way. It should be noted that this is not of those free play blogs that tosses out huge chalk for the comp plays. I'd rather let readers get a feel for what most of plays are like, and I'm sure not much for laying a price in baseball. As for those personal plays, rates and details available simply by firing off an email to me at cokin@cox.net. A quick umpiring note from yesterday's Rays-Rangers game. Props to Marty Foster, who rightfully caught a load of criticism for the horrendous blown ball-strike call at the close of Monday's matchup between these teams. First off, he admitted he blew it, and that's cool on his part. Everyone makes mistakes. But let's also give Foster credit for an excellent call yesterday on an attempted double play breakup at second base. ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Wednesday 4/10/13

Free play run now at 5-0 the last five days with the A's-Angels Over winner last night. Back to the road dogs today for the comp play. Once again, my personal plays are available, but there is a fee involved. There might have been some confusion on that count, so just to be clear, those plays cost money. If you're playing for profit and not for just action, I think it's worth considering. Drop me a line at cokin@cox.net and I'll send you all the pertinent info. ------------------ 04/10 11:05 AM MLB (967) TAMPA BAY RAYS VS (968) TEXAS RANGERS Take: (967) TAMPA BAY RAYS Matt Moore might be ready to start strutting his outstanding stuff if his first start is an accurate indicator. Moore was kind of a bust last season, and the reason was simple enough. Moore just had way too many games where he could not consistently locate the strike zone. I'm not convinced he has solved the problem, as he walked way too many guys in the spring training games. But in the first real game out of the ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Tuesday 4/9/13

I've watched a load of baseball over the last 50 something years, and yet I'll never say that I've seen it all. Proof of that declaration came last night as I viewed the end of the game between the Rays and Rangers. This was a game in which I had no involvement, I was simply watching. Thus, I guess I can say that I was fortunate enough to have witnessed what might well have been the worst game-ending ball/strike call ever. Here's the scenario. Joe Nathan is trying to nail down his 300th career save and he's not exactly at his best. Nathan has already yielded one run to make it a 5-4 ballgame, the tying run is on base, and it's a full count to Ben Zobrist with Evan Longoria on deck. Longoria is having a perfect night at the plate, going 3/3 and also drawing a walk. So Nathan really needs to close it out by retiring Zobrist. But Nathan misses badly with the 3-2 pitch, as it dives low and wide. Ball four and here comes Longoria, right? Uh no, as from out of nowhere home plate umpire ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Monday 4/8/13

Anyone who follows me on Twitter is probably well aware that I can get a little irritated at times. The vast majority of this angst generally pertains to games that go into overtime/extra innings or, specifically in baseball, occasions where a bullpen gets involved in ruining what should have been a winner. I actually keep track of these results, as they can and will have a bearing on what a season's bottom line will look like at the end of the year. So I'm going to update two categories on Monday each week to see how I end up in these games. First week results: Extra innings 0-1. Blown saves that helped me: Zero. Blown saves that hurt me: Three. Note that the blown saves only pertain to the ninth inning or extras. I'm only interested in those critical last three outs swing scenarios. The free plays aced the weekend, with the Red Sox on Friday, the Twins Saturday and the Diamondbacks on Sunday. I'll try to keep the streak alive with another road team today. And if you'd like ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Sunday 4/7/13

Managed a profit again on Saturday, and among the winners was the free play on the Twins, which also made it to my personal plays card. A rather lengthy analysis today on the free play, so I'll just offer a quick reminder that you can find about getting my personal wagers on a daily basis by firing off an email to cokin@cox.net. --------------- 04/07 11:10 AM MLB (907) ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS VS (908) MILWAUKEE BREWERS Take: (907) ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS What a miserable opening week this has been for Milwaukee. The Brewers are once again possessors of an alarmingly bad bullpen, so the biggest issue from the 2012 campaign has apparently not been rectified. Ryan Braun is having injury problems, Aramis Ramirez is on the DL with a beat up knee, Corey Hart won't be back for awhile, 2012 phenom Mike Fiers looks like a massive regression candidate, and top prospect Wily Peralta doesn't look ready. In other words, not a lot of good early news for the Brewers. Here's another potential red ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Saturday 4/6/13

Off a solid 4-1, +3.85 in baseball on Friday, looking to add more profits today, and will be firing on some attractively priced dogs in all likelihood. Free play mini-skid was halted as well with the winner on the Red Sox. That one also made my personal play list. Always nice when the numbers end up allowing me to actually bet on my favorite team, so I was doubly pleased with this result. Obviously, there is no bias involved in the actual analysis, but I don't think there's much doubt I root a little harder when I'm also betting the Bosox. Personal plays, the ones I bet each day with my money, are available. For rates and info, drop me a line at cokin@cox.net. ------------------- 04/06 04:05 PM MLB (973) MINNESOTA TWINS VS (974) BALTIMORE ORIOLES Take: (973) MINNESOTA TWINS The Twins aren't likely to be very good this season, and the primary problem will be the pitching. Minnesota can hit the ball, but if they cannot get the other guys out, it's going to be another campaign ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Friday 4/5/13

Free plays have hit the proverbial bump in the road the last three days. I'll try and right the ship today. The easy move is to jump all over a big favorite that's a likely winner, but the idea with these plays, free or otherwise, is to isolate the best value and ROI. I see a few very live dogs on today's full MLB slate, and I'll focus on one that carries a very generous plus sign on the money line. As for my personal daily plays, get the cost and details by simply emailing me directly at cokin@cox.net. ------------------ 04/05 04:05 PM MLB (921) BOSTON RED SOX VS (922) TORONTO BLUE JAYS Take: (921) BOSTON RED SOX Josh Johnson is clearly one of the keys for the Blue Jays this season. If the vintage Johnson shows up, the Blue Jays will have a legit ace at the top of their rotation. If the 2012 Johnson is what they get, the results could be at least mildly disappointing. Johnson is good enough to win his share of games regardless, but he isn't going to dominate with the velocity ... More

Dave’s Free Play, Thursday 4/4/13

Not a lot of fun for me on Wednesday night. The evening started off poorly with Hiroki Kuroda getting a finger in the way of a batted ball and then telling Joe Girardi he was good to go, when he clearly was not. Good chance the Yankees would have lost anyway, so I wasn't terribly upset with the result. The other loser was much tougher to accept as I got involved in my first extra inning game of the new season. Predictably, it lost as the Cardinals fell to the Diamondbacks in 16 innings. St. Louis blew the lead on four different occasions in this clash, including once in the extras. I wrote predictably because my extra inning record over the years is ridiculously awful. Anyone who says these things even up over the long haul hasn't been with me in baseball. I believe I might have set some kind of record in 2009, when in a span of about five or six weeks, I lost 14 consecutive extra inning games. As for the game itself, Kirk Gibson outmanaged Mike Matheny and deserved to win. ... More